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View Full Version : Which 32 inch self-propelled for start-up


Inndesign
07-08-2009, 07:36 PM
I am examining this industry, whereas I have had a passion for lawn care for years and currently use Lawn-Boy self-propelled to service a very small client base.

I wish to replace my current Lawn-Boy with a 32 inch, ideally due to the curves. 25 degree inclines and unlevel nature of my area. Four strokes are challenged over 15 degrees, therefore do require overhead oil pump on cam. Wide decks are not at all favorable and most clients refuse such contractors. 21 inch is not nearly enough, but 32 inch would suffice to step up.

I have spent hours studying every manufacturer I can review. The eXmark Metro 32" is nice, but many say to go with the Hydro, but then that exceeds 36". The Bradley RedHawk 32" with the 15 HP Kohler Engine is another option. 32'' Sarlo is probably like the Redhawk, only different paint? Then there is the 34" Ariens Wide Area Walk 1034 that seems to be very popular, the one I am currently leaning in favor of. LISTED HERE (http://www.mowersdirect.com/Ariens-WAW1034/p2253.html#reviews).

The factors I am restrained by is the client base. Some wants bagging, some wants mulching. Therefore the mower needs to adjust for both options IF possible. Would like to have Sulky option, but not maybe favorable in some client lawns due to ravines and other ground based obstacles. I hope I can get some professional feedback from those who are veteran to this industry, whereas I am not such a person. Thank You!

lawnboy dan
07-08-2009, 10:36 PM
toro t bar is my pic. you dont want a single hydro in a wb as you have to muscle it tru turns. floating deck follows conturs of turf quite well. i ahve run t bar for 15 yrs and love it-ultra reliable and great cut and mulching. does well on slopes too.sulky -no prob. go demo one -then compare the rest-you will see its eaisly the best

Inndesign
07-08-2009, 11:42 PM
Thanks much Lawnboy Dan. I assume you are making reference to the Toro 30692 15 HP Kawasaki V-Twin engine with 32" deck found HERE (http://www.toro.com/professional/lce/midsize/tf_fixedgear/30692.html)? Is your comments implying you are more in favor of the gear over the hydro? I understand the hydro is the choice because the are faster, no belts to wear out or slipping in wet conditions? One user told me to "Spend the extra money now and get the hydro, you will be a lot better off down the road." Well, the problem is all the new Toro Walk-Behinds don't have a hydro with less than a 36" deck. Fixed Deck Gear Drive is only option with 32" deck T-Bar. Plus the price tag is $3,000! I was hoping to ease in economically at first. Get a feel for it before I dropped the big bucks.

Hoping to get some feedback on the 34" Ariens Wide Area Walk. They are $1,300 new and in my price range. The Ferris Hydro Cut in the 32" seems to be a serious machine found HERE (http://www.ferrisindustries.com/pages/mower.php?product_id=26) for around $2,000. Never-the-less, I am very grateful for any comments regardless of the cost.

Inndesign
07-09-2009, 12:14 AM
I forgot to mention the 2009 Cub Cadet CC-760ES 33" for $1,300 found HERE (http://www.cubcadet.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_10051_14101_162710_33831_-1_33831_33831). Albeit, this model does not allow a sulky, but not a big deal, because exercise is good. With so many manufactures and limited experience, I will have to resort to a professionals opinion for lack of knowledge. Thanks for suffering through my exorbitant posts!

W.L.M.
07-09-2009, 12:24 AM
Wright makes a 32 hydro walk behind which is probaly your best bet for a hardcore commercial 32in. If you are dealing with slopes like you say a belt drive or single hydro isn't going to be any good and darn near impossible to operate on.

Jay Ray
07-09-2009, 12:35 AM
It is a pretty fair chore to change the Exmark Metro or the Toro 32 with the same Exmark deck from mulch to bagging and vice versa. A Jungle Jack helps by making the lift quick and secure.

Inndesign
07-09-2009, 12:58 AM
I see what you mean W.L.M, the Wright Velke is a beast HERE (http://www.wrightmfg.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=products.view&productid=6AD1DAA6-ADC4-C54B-1182B45FABD9FE4F)! It looks like heavy duty Caterpillar equipment with that paint job :) And it is seriously more compact than the Toro, RedHawk, or Sarlo and their truck bed length platforms. If you are packing multiple machines on a trailer, I could see this design being a real asset. But then we are talking $4,500 for a WVP3215KAW 32" 15 HP Kawasaki Recoil start walk-behind! This is certainly a high-jump regarding costs when wanting to test the industry with a $1,500 budget :p I will set my sights on Wright when I am certain of my goal, but for now, I have to think economical and entry-level as a test.

DT Lawn Care
07-09-2009, 01:00 AM
It is a pretty fair chore to change the Exmark Metro or the Toro 32 with the same Exmark deck from mulch to bagging and vice versa. A Jungle Jack helps by making the lift quick and secure.

Wow, that was out of left field!?!? Just get or make a easy put on/take off mulch plate for it and a side bag. If you use Gator blades on it, it should do you well for both mulching and bagging. I like my Metro, it doesn't slip on hills, unless it's wet (of course).

You really can't be looking at a hydro unit for under $1500, unless you're going to buy a used one.

Don't want to question you, but really whats up with not wanting a 36"? It's only 4" more, and they are WAY more common and cheaper. Not to mention how many more models you can consider.

BTW, hydros DO use belts. There is a belt that runs underneath from the engine to the hydros.

GL

MesaLawn
07-09-2009, 03:41 PM
Surprised nobody has mentioned Better Outdoor Products :)

I'm a homeowner 1 acre lot, went from a 21" lawnboy to the Quick 36" Ninja. I'm pretty happy with it. Lots of posts on it, do a search. Mine's a single hydro, which does take effort on slopes, but cheaper than the dually.

frotis
07-09-2009, 03:55 PM
A dealer near me has Exmark 36" Metro's with ECS for $2895 is that a good price?

DA Quality Lawn & YS
07-09-2009, 04:39 PM
Surprised nobody has mentioned Better Outdoor Products :)

I'm a homeowner 1 acre lot, went from a 21" lawnboy to the Quick 36" Ninja. I'm pretty happy with it. Lots of posts on it, do a search. Mine's a single hydro, which does take effort on slopes, but cheaper than the dually.

Good call, OR the BOP Quickie 32.

The guy above uses his Ninja as a homeowner. I use mine day in day out for commercial use. Very, very happy with it. Is overkill for a homeowner machine, and very good as a commercial machine. Maybe you don't want to spend quite so much on an overkill machine, though??

MileHigh
07-09-2009, 05:22 PM
Wright Stander 32" Dual Hydro will outperform any other 32" inch on the market hands down...go demo one.

This is coming from an Exmark fan and user.

Funny though...I've never heard the term "self-propelled" when talking about commercial 32" mowers, just 21"'s

lawnboy dan
07-09-2009, 08:13 PM
as far as i know toro still makes the floater deck 32 with kohler (easy to change height)-i dont recommend the fixed deck toro. the floater 32 is around 3000$ also but well worth every cent.

DT Lawn Care
07-09-2009, 10:17 PM
Funny though...I've never heard the term "self-propelled" when talking about commercial 32" mowers, just 21"'s

I thought that was kinda funny myself :laugh: Wow, a 32" mower, and it's self-propelled!!!

ecko
07-09-2009, 10:58 PM
Wright Stander 32" Dual Hydro will outperform any other 32" inch on the market hands down...go demo one.

This is the answer right here, too bad your budget is $1,500. Are you looking at used or strictly new?

Inndesign
07-09-2009, 11:03 PM
Sorry about the inaccurate topic title ;) I found references to self-propelled over 21 inches in several places when researching, thus my generalized reference, including manufacture sites. For example, pasted verbatim from Swisher "Swisher’s WB11542F walk-behind mower offers an 11.5-hp Briggs & Stratton engine and a 42” finish cut. Meant for lawns of a half-acre or more, this self-propelled walk-behind has a 4-speed transmission with reverse, large pneumatic tires and an easy-to-use single point height adjustment for any cutting height within four inches."

I can see were "Walk-Behind" is the choice vernacular when self-propulsion is a given, but apparently not all copy writers are restrained by expected terminology. Which misdirects those of us who are novice to this industry.

Jay Ray
07-09-2009, 11:21 PM
Wow, that was out of left field!?!? Just get or make a easy put on/take off mulch plate for it and a side bag. If you use Gator blades on it, it should do you well for both mulching and bagging. I like my Metro, it doesn't slip on hills, unless it's wet (of course).



I mentioned this as the OP, Inndesign, is considering a Metro 32. If you want it to make fine tobacco, sold American, you have to use the batwing baffle assembly and it has to come out for discharging.

I like my Metro too.

lifetree
07-12-2009, 11:16 PM
Surprised nobody has mentioned Better Outdoor Products :)

I'm a homeowner 1 acre lot, went from a 21" lawnboy to the Quick 36" Ninja. I'm pretty happy with it. ...

Good suggestion.

Good call, OR the BOP Quickie 32.

The guy above uses his Ninja as a homeowner. I use mine day in day out for commercial use. Very, very happy with it. ...

I would recommend the Quickie 32 Samurai Dually ... you can get a Step Saver rider for it, as well as a grass catcher ... and because it's 32" it will fit through the 36" gates that you have !! You can't go wrong with that machine.

lyube
07-12-2009, 11:25 PM
There's a few 32 and 37" Toro walk behinds on CL right now.

mowerdude777
07-12-2009, 11:29 PM
Go with the metro or get a used metro hp (same as metro only with floating deck)

Inndesign
07-12-2009, 11:45 PM
Thanks for all the comments and suggestions. As mentioned several times though, I am seeking a machine as a trial for this industry, and want to stay in the $1,500 range. Most the mowers that were suggested were in the $3,000 plus range. If I was going to spend those type of dollars, it would be a 32" Wright Velke Hydro, hands down. I have been watching Craigslist and Ebay, and other local sales sources and find the 32" Red Hawk Walk Behind as the most common machine easily found. Thanks again.

GravelyNut
07-13-2009, 12:53 AM
We've sold a few of the WAW 1034s. Other than one that ended up with a bent deck, the others haven't been in for any repairs. That said, IMO for what I'd need one for, I'd use an older Gravely 2-wheeler.

Inndesign
07-13-2009, 01:09 AM
Thanks GravelyNut... if you read my first post, you'll notice the 34" Ariens Wide Area Walk 1034 is listed as the best result from my research for the price range. I am visiting Reynold's Farm Equipment in my area, which is a John Deere first, and Ariens among others. The 1034 is what I had settled on, however this thread doesn't encourage me at all http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=246326 ... namely because slopes and hills are THE primary issue in my area.

Inndesign
07-14-2009, 06:47 PM
For those who have inquired, attached to this forum are photos of the inclined encountered on the properties. As mentioned in one caption, the inclines are more the rule than the exception. CLICK HERE (http://www.lawnsite.com/album.php?albumid=241)

Talking to Gary Patridge of Better Outdoor Products, LLC about the Better Quickie 32" Hydro 15HP Kawasaki (http://www.betteroutdoorproducts.com/index.asp?page=Products&SubCategoryID=37&SubCategory=32%20inch%20Cut&Category=Mowers). If I am in that market to spend $3K, might have to do a double take of the Wright 32" Velke Hydro 15HP Kawasaki (http://www.wrightmfg.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=products.view&productid=6AD1DAA6-ADC4-C54B-1182B45FABD9FE4F) :)

frotis
07-14-2009, 07:38 PM
For those who have inquired, attached to this forum are photos of the inclined encountered on the properties. As mentioned in one caption, the inclines are more the rule than the exception. CLICK HERE (http://www.lawnsite.com/album.php?albumid=241)

Talking to Gary Patridge of Better Outdoor Products, LLC about the Better Quickie 32" Hydro 15HP Kawasaki (http://www.betteroutdoorproducts.com/index.asp?page=Products&SubCategoryID=37&SubCategory=32%20inch%20Cut&Category=Mowers). If I am in that market to spend $3K, might have to do a double take of the Wright 32" Velke Hydro 15HP Kawasaki (http://www.wrightmfg.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=products.view&productid=6AD1DAA6-ADC4-C54B-1182B45FABD9FE4F) :)


How much is the Wright 32 Hydro?

Inndesign
07-14-2009, 08:10 PM
Current prices for the Velke range from $2875 for a 15/36 gear drive to $5940 for a 19/52 hydro. I am a corporate level designer and marketing consultant, therefore I appreciate the "Caterpillar" looking industrial paint job and the well designed logo applications of the Wright's. However, I realize looks is not as important as the build and longevity. The Velke seems to be esteemed as the ultimate machine by some... depending on who you're talking to. So many personal and biased opinions on this and other forums, that one is left with researching the final selection himself :) It reminds me of technology rivalry, you are either a Macintosh die hard or all Windows (me). You are either all Nikon gear or Canon (me). You either pack a durable Gaston Glock or prefer the precision slide of the Italian Beretta (me). Whatever you use is your base camp, rather it is the best solution or not.

rusty_keg_3
07-15-2009, 04:35 AM
Well, with a price range around $1,500, you could get a Craftsman, we have had one for over 5 years, and to be honest, it still runs like a champ... But there is Great Dane, and the Briggs and Strattons were like the EXACT same thing as our Craftsman, but that was a few years back...

Inndesign
07-22-2009, 06:18 PM
Well fellas, I took delivery of the eXmark Metro 26" today. Pictures don't do it justice, it is big compared to what I am used to. I know many of you pros were pre-2006 models, that were laden with design issues. I am assured by those who use the Metro 2008 and 2009 models, that the kinks have been worked out. Since Billy Goat dropped their 32", this is the best walk-behind for those wanting to be somewhere between 21" and 34" inches with modest terrain challenges. Guess I will see. Thanks for all your feedbacks.

joed
07-22-2009, 06:43 PM
Well fellas, I took delivery of the eXmark Metro 26" today. Pictures don't do it justice, it is big compared to what I am used to. I know many of you pros were pre-2006 models, that were laden with design issues. I am assured by those who use the Metro 2008 and 2009 models, that the kinks have been worked out. Since Billy Goat dropped their 32", this is the best walk-behind for those wanting to be somewhere between 21" and 34" inches with modest terrain challenges. Guess I will see. Thanks for all your feedbacks

Congratulations on your purchase. Keep us up to date on how the Metro 26" makes out. I bought one of the first Metro 26" that came out in 2005. It was a disaster. I've read that the 2008/2009 mowers have had all the kinks worked out but the mulching ability of the machine is still not too good. It would be interesting to see how this new machine works out.

As others have mentioned, the Wright 32" Stander is terrific too. Very compact, quick and leaves a good cut. Only thing I didn't like about that machine was the way you changed cutting heights on a fixed deck. Real pain.

I'm hoping that Toro comes out with a 32"/36" Grandstand in the near feature.

Inndesign
07-22-2009, 07:16 PM
I failed to mentioned that I opted for the model 103-6422 $14.00 26” mulch blade that is specifically designed to micro-mulch the grass to atomized fertilizer. Anything dual-hydro on my 30 degree slopes sideways was not feasible... $3,400 plus is not viable for a home user. The Wright was my first choice, but cost was prohibitive.

milkie62
07-29-2009, 03:34 AM
I demo'ed a 32" Ferris single hydo last year.It would be OK on flat land but on the hills I thought it was terrible.Took way too much to muscle it in the turns.

Inndesign
07-29-2009, 08:14 PM
A number of you asked for my feedback after using the 2009 eXmark Metro 26. I won't bore you all the details, but will provide a few bullet points.

I have used the mower now on .56 acres twice. If you look at my photos uploaded, you will see the terrain is 30 to 40 degrees in places, therefore I think I have provided the ultimate test.

The mower is solid, built like a tank and weighs in heavy at 140lbs. The fabrication is top quality, designed for years of use. No flimsy stamped metal parts or excessive moving parts in the construction. If you buy one new, check the transmission belt. They are shipping loose and you will have no positive motion unless it is adjusted during setup.

As long as you are mowing long stretches with few turns and nearly no inclines, this is a ground hugging walk behind mower that cuts clean, but mulches poorly. However, if you have many turns during rows or have inclines over 15 degrees, I would advise you to pass on this mower. It has plenty of power going up an incline, but watch out going down. Even in first gear, it is all runaway weight. My cleats were not enough to control the descent. The retailers technician came on site to adjust the mower and nearly flew into the brush when testing on a decline. I sit here with a sprained ankle from being cast over an embankment by the kinetic motion of this beast. I am in shape and lifting is not a problem, albeit this mower will provide you a workout like no other mower.

My dealer said, mow side-to-side. Well, yes, this does help, but then you have to swing the weight on a pivot during the turns. A good deal of brute force is required even on flat terrain on the turns. If you are on an incline over 20 degrees, the angle causes the engine to die when mowing side-to-side. This mower is NOT made for any terrain other than flat. If you are in your 30's and like physical exertion, by all means, this mower will be a workout. If you are 45 or 50 something and getting soft, this will exert you and possibly cause physical damage.

Several users and dealers warned me to avoid this model, those who had the 2006 models, that it was a boat anchor. I instead listened to Alan Clay at Reynolds Farm Equipment in Fishers, Indiana who said the 30 degree would be no problem for the 2009 model. I now have to return it for a refund because I can't possibly mow with it, and am being charged a 15% restocking fee, or $250 lost. I will now go back to my first choice, a Toro 22188, which has nearly all the same features, only much lighter at 22 inches. My opinion, don't buy the Metro 26... avoid it.

lifetree
07-29-2009, 08:33 PM
Inndesign -- I'm definately sorry that it didn't work out for you with the Metro 26", however, I will again suggest to you that the Quick 32" Samurai Dually would be the best thing for you !! I know you consider it to be expensive, however, I re-iterate that I truly believe you will fall in love with this machine ... and BTW, it can handle slopes just fine ... good luck.

bonefisher101
07-29-2009, 08:44 PM
Check out Worldlawn Power Equipment site!

Shasta Lake Landscaping
08-11-2009, 02:05 AM
Or redhawk, if you cut frequent enough and dont have a discharge chute you wont need to mulch, most of the time you really cant tell, that is if redhawks cut as good as most commercials. Belt drive commercials are good on hills too.
I just dont know about the build quality of them, they look decent, we have a few sulkys that are made by bradley and they've held up.

mowerdude777
08-11-2009, 12:28 PM
Try craigslist, I have made some sweet scores there, my 48 inch metro hp in great condition was only 1200, my ferris 32 was only 600, and I have gotten good deals on 21 on as well

STIHL GUY
08-11-2009, 10:53 PM
better outdoor products mowers have gotten some pretty good reviews and they are not gonna cost you an arm and a leg. you might wanna check out their website

chuacro
12-09-2009, 12:38 AM
Sorry about the inaccurate topic title ;) I found references to self-propelled over 21 inches in several places when researching, thus my generalized reference, including manufacture sites. For example, pasted verbatim from Swisher "Swisher’s WB11542F walk-behind mower offers an 11.5-hp Briggs & Stratton engine and a 42” finish cut. Meant for lawns of a half-acre or more, this self-propelled walk-behind has a 4-speed transmission with reverse, large pneumatic tires and an easy-to-use single point height adjustment for any cutting height within four inches."

I can see were "Walk-Behind" is the choice vernacular when self-propulsion is a given, but apparently not all copy writers are restrained by expected terminology. Which misdirects those of us who are novice to this industry.

I am going to use some of these words when I talk to my customers. I should be able to increase my fees